First big storm socks state

Posted Dec. 09, 2009, at 1:23 p.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — The first major storm of the season walloped most of Maine from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday, dumping as much as a foot of snow in Kokadjo in Piscataquis County.

One man was killed in Edgecomb on Wednesday evening when the car he was driving slid into the path of another vehicle on a snow-covered roadway.

The storm brought a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and high winds to the state. The weather led to school cancellations and postponed sporting events, community gatherings and meetings, and had public works crews out plowing and treating roads for the duration of the storm.

The National Weather Service in Caribou had gathered most of its preliminary snowfall totals by Thursday afternoon.

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In Aroostook County, Madawaska received the most snow, with 9 inches falling on the town. Fort Kent had 8 inches, while Caribou picked up 8.3 inches. In Presque Isle, 6.7 inches was recorded, while Houlton had 4.5 inches. The least amount of County snow, 4 inches, fell in Clayton Lake, according to the weather service.

Police departments in The County said they encountered few accidents, and none was serious.

Dispatchers said most motorists seemed to have stayed at home, so fewer vehicles skidded off snow- and ice-covered roadways.

Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies said a 62-year-old Scarborough man was killed when his car was hit on the driver’s side at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on Route 27 in Edgecomb. The man’s name had not been released Thursday evening. The driver of the other vehicle suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

The most snow from the storm fell in Kokadjo in Piscataquis County, which had 12 inches of snow on the ground by Thursday morning. East Sangerville received 11.4 inches while Sebec saw 5 inches.

In Penobscot County, Bangor picked up 9.5 inches of snow, the most precipitation recorded in the region. Glenburn received 8 inches, according to the NWS, while Orono had 7 inches. The least amount of snow in Penobscot County fell in Lakeville, where 4 inches was recorded.

Gouldsboro, in Hancock County, received 8 inches of snow. In Ellsworth, 6.6 inches of snow fell. Bar Harbor had 5.5 inches, and Waltham had just 3.6 inches.

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In Washington County, 10 inches fell in Whiting, Topsfield received 7.5 inches, Danforth saw 6.5 inches, and Edmunds saw 6 inches. Milbridge received the least amount of snow, 5.5 inches.

Wind gusts were a problem in some parts of the state.

The NWS reported that the highest wind gust, 65 mph, was recorded in West Quoddy. Cutler had a wind gust of 61 mph, and several other towns had gusts of 54 mph. The wind was not as significant a problem in Aroostook County. A gust of 35 mph was recorded in Port-age, and 28 mph gusts were picked up in Houlton and Frenchville.

Power outages to more than 3,000 Bangor Hydro-Electric customers were reported, many in Hancock County, and a small number of customers of Central Maine Power Co. also lost power briefly.

Matt Doody, a meteorologist with the NWS in Caribou, said the snow fell over a relatively short amount of time. He noted that snowflakes began falling Wednesday afternoon and had stopped completely by 5 a.m. Thursday.

At this point, he said, the NWS is looking at a weaker weather system that could move into the area next week. The event, which could occur late Tuesday afternoon, may bring some snow to the area, but it is not expected to bring as much snow as Wednesday’s storm.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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